$5 Meal Challenge – Wonton Soup

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$5 meal challengeCan you feed a family of four for $5? You sure can. We continue our Great $5 Meal Challenge this week with cookbook author and biomedical scientist Michelle Tchea taking up the challenge. You may remember Michelle from our review of her fabulous book Building a Perfect Meal (click here to see the recipes we featured too). Well, she’s back with another delicious recipe below. Take it away, Michelle.

Text and photography: Michelle Tchea

Building a Perfect Meal book coverDinner under $5 may seem like a challenge, but if you cook in season as well as use ingredients that are little less common, such as different cuts of meat and also whole fish, etc, the whole family can be fed quite easily on a $5 budget.

My wonton noodles are reminiscent of a Hong Kong-style dish that is eaten in the summer. Without a rich chicken broth, this meal is perfect, quick and delicious.

Extra wontons can be frozen and cooked in the same way without thawing, for a quick dinner during the week.

This recipe is adapted from my book Building a Perfect Meal (Penguin and Marshall Cavendish Publishers).


Makes 70 wontons

What you need:

Minced pork, 100g
Ginger, 1 small knob, peeled and grated
Spring onion (scallion), ¼  stalk, finely chopped
All-purpose soy sauce, ½  tsp
Sesame oil, 1/3 tsp
Salt and pepper to taste
Bok choy, ½  bunch, finely chopped
Wonton wrappers, 35-40 sheets
1 packet of Japanese udon noodles
Soy sauce – extra to serve

How to make:

1. Combine minced pork, ginger, spring onion, soy sauce and sesame oil in a bowl and mix well. Add about 1 tablespoon of cold water to loosen the mix. Season with salt and pepper and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

2. Just before wrapping wontons, add in the bok choy (do this now, so that the ‘water’ from the vegetable is minimised)

3. To make the wontons, place 1/2 tsp minced pork filling into the centre of a wrapper. Wet the edges of the wrapper with some water, then fold wrapper in half to make a triangle. Taking the two small tips of the triangle, bring them together to form a sort of crown. Repeat until all the ingredients are used up.

4. To cook, boil a large pot of water and add wontons. Stir gently with the back of a wooden spoon. When water returns to the boil, add 250 ml (8 fl oz / 1 cup) cold water and leave to simmer until wontons float to the top of the pot boil. Drain and leave on the side.

5. In a medium sized pot, boil water and add in the noodles, cooking according to the instructions. Drain well before tossing in 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and a dash of sesame oil. Mix to coat the noodles.

6. To serve, place the noodles in a bowl and top with the boiled wontons. Serve with extra soy sauce or chilli sauce.

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